Title: Cirque Act 2 (Cirque #2)
Author: Ashleigh Giannoccaro
Genre: Dark Erotic Thriller
Release Date: January 20, 2017
Without my box I can’t be me
Kidnapped by a clown close to the sea
He’s torn inside where one equals two
One I hate, the other I love true
Secrets and lies become alibis
Sivan is damaged, it’s in his eyes
Riddles unravel when you know who masters
Now Imogene’s only home is Masters
An eye playing spy held me together
When I broke, he broke, two ends of frayed tether
We’re joined by the past like twin souls in hell
Innocent angels molested, and fell
I escaped it, but need to go back.
To love the man with his face painted black.
The circus is known for its eternal magic
Our tent of freedom is simply tragic.
Once a little girl fell, then she fell for me
I’m a fool, and she’s a fool for me
There’s a clown inside us all; a purpose
But this life, it’s all just a circus.
Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***
“No one loves the clown.”
Roll up, roll up the circus is back in town. A circus with harrowing memories for those that were forced to perform, a perfect piece of entertainment for the innocent members of the audience, yet behind closed doors, the true horrors of the circus are revealed. Slowly…agonisingly slowly.
“The circus is magical, but not all magic is beautiful. Some of it is dark and ugly.”
This book was hauntingly good, the characters that we got to know in book one were peeled back, stripped of their make-up and their façade as A Giannoccaro takes you behind the scenes, into the minds and hearts of Sivan and Imogene. Two people connected by the circus, yet trapped by the same at the same time.
“The thing with pleasure and fear is they often go together, and I abandoned dancing that deadly tango years ago.”
Sivan is trying not to be overcome by the clown within and Imogene keeps trying to escape the clown who has become the object of her worst nightmares. Not one of the same but the face makes it hard to differentiate. Two broken people, seemingly only having the propensity to love one and other and yet the clown keeps them apart, because “no-one loves the clown.”
“You are no one. You are no one because you love me, and no one loves the clown.”
This is a book that cannot be spoiled, A Giannoccaro has weaved a perfect web around these characters with the circus definitely being the sticky threads that keep these two well and truly tangled. Who is the spider in this book though? We have two flies, surely the spider is hungry? Or at least intrigued by his latest victims?
Clowns love their war paint, it is a piece of them, identifiable only to them, each an individual expression of the person within. Sivan and Imogene are not only connected through the paint but by life itself. Little threads that have tenuously linked them and now they have come together, the question is do the threads snap or do they strengthen? Can these threads become a suspension cable that forever supports?
“I will always be your no one, and you will be my someone…”
A Giannoccaro wraps up Sivan and Imogene’s story with intense emotion, brutal honesty and with enough angst and tension to induce palpitations. As the sorry truth is slowly revealed and the battle begins you know that Sivan and Imogene have a mountain to climb in more ways than one. Two people that can’t live without one and other and yet cannot live with one and other either. An untenable situation, the clown and the acrobat, forever performers, circus in their blood, but has the circus bled them dry? The Ring Master, the man in control, the man who brings the circus together, can this one last act be whipped into shape or has the curtain closed forever without the possibility of an encore?
“We all get to play the fool occasionally, Sivan, each of us has a clown inside somewhere. But, we have other faces too.”
I loved this duet. A Giannoccaro certainly knows how to do dark, the tension building, the suspense, the intrigue as well as emotion. The character connection throughout was on point and as such Sivan was a man that I took into my heart, he was a victim too. For such a happy place the circus will forever be tainted as Sivan and Imogene’s story will definitely be hard to forget.
I squash the costumes, and bits I bought, into my car as best I can. The back window is completely blocked and I cannot see out of it at all. The clothing smells old and has that musty, almost stale smell, as if the sweat of the original owners is still in the fabric.
The pictures from his office have my mind spinning. He was part of my circus; he was there. That was his family’s circus. When I asked he just got upset and dismissed me, hurrying me to leave. I struck a nerve with him. I desperately want to know more, to ask him more, but risk losing him as a supplier.
My last task is shopping. We need food, toilet paper, and the other shit required to live on the fringes. I stop at the small coastal town nearest my new home and make my way around the few stores there. All I require are the basics, and a somewhat decent coffee. The folks in the stores eye me like the stranger I am, looking me up and down.
In a small grocer I gather fresh produce to cook with. A friendly girl behind the counter smiles and greets me; she doesn’t look at me like the older people have.
“Do you know where I can get a haircut in town?” I ask, while she bags my purchases into green plastic bags. She snickers and looks at me with a sweet smile.
“Two blocks up turn left, there’s a barber, but I think he’d shave it bald if you let him at that.” She eyes my messy long hair. “I wouldn’t cut it if I were you. Here.” She rolls a hair tie off her skinny wrist and hands it to me. “Just pull it back. The man-bun is all the rage nowadays.”
Giving a nod of thanks I pull my hair up into her pink elastic band and pay for the groceries. The final item on my list is done and I am relieved, ready to return to my own world and leave this charade of normal behind me.
“Thank you.” I smile as I grab the bags from the end of her counter.
“Pleasure, new guy in town.” She giggles and turns to help the purple haired old lady who has now ambled up to her cash register.
I leave the store feeling better. This day wasn’t what I hoped it to be, and the answers I wanted are now more questions. My heart is heavy with my mother’s confessions and Gavin’s betrayal. I am human and I feel just like they do.
Fuck me, this is all hurting me more than it should.
The short drive back home isn’t long and the hot afternoon sun is relentless on the car. Even with the AC on the sun burns me through the window.
Bouncing on the rutted dirt track I make my way to the tent, uneasiness making me check my mirrors and scan the surrounds. I feel as if I have been outed; that someone knows I am here now.
When I get out into the searing heat I look at the trailer where she is, and she is standing at my window staring out at me. She looks tired and dirty, broken and defeated. I hardly recognise my beautiful aerial dancer, but I recognise something else. Her eyes are as dead as the ones I watched through the window that summer, glassed over and devoid of emotion, as if the soul in them has perished and floated away with the wind.
Bestselling Author Ashleigh Giannoccaro writes edgy dark romance and erotic horror, self published by choice she writes the stories others don’t dare. Currently residing in Johannesburg South Africa with her husband and two daughters Ashleigh enjoys writing stories that make you fall in love with the unlovable and leave you asking questions. When not writing she can be found with her kindle in a sunny spot reading or traveling with her family.
Other Books in Series:
A boy looked in a window, to see a naughty show
Through the pane of pain, the master clown did blow
The circus is a holy tent, the keeper of my rhyme
Where I forged my chains, creating this pantomime
Pretending to be normal, I wait until after dark
Then I paint the frown on, get a whore from the park
At the bottom of that bed was a darling in a chest
She watched with big eyes, horror hooking her from rest
She dances for the maniac, twirling on her strings
I will make her mine, sharing damaged things
I will be her riddle, she will help me grin
So why does she run away, she has to let me in
No one loves the clown, not even the midget
We’ve gone too far, she will know my secret
Love can break the hardest mask, I know this to be true
Nightmares have hearts too, I only needed you